Can you imagine the CEO of a learning company not being very good at learning languages? Well, that’s exactly what Luis von Ahn said in a statement issued after a successful fundraising event.
He said, “I am actually very bad at learning languages, which is pretty funny considering what I do.” As CEO of Duolingo, Ahn provides a platform for individuals to learn new languages, and while he may not be able to speak any other language, he certainly knows how to speak the language of money.
The company successfully raised $25 million in a Series E round of funding, led by Drive Capital. With this round, the company has raised $108.3 million so far. Having completed this round of funding, the valuation of Duolingo stands at $700 million. The additional funds will allow them to expand their team from 80 to 150
Von Ahn started Duolingo in 2012 with the mission to provide free language education across the world. Users of his language learning tool may not know that he is also the creator of reCAPTCHA, a tool that is used on many websites to prove that the user is human.
Duolingo currently offers 72 courses across 27 unique languages. Over and above the tests and exercises, the platform also offers flash cards for easy understanding and AI enabled chatbots.
Von Ahn stated that their objective is to inculcate AI and machine learning into their bots to such an extent that they can train like real human tutors. They want to leverage AI in their core platform, provide language services and solutions for users across the globe, and make it easily accessible.
This niche sector is estimated to generate a revenue of $193 billion for English language alone.